Bill To Exclude Hemp From The Controlled Substances Act

hempfieldCongressman James Comer (R-KY-1) and 15 co-sponsors have reintroduced legislation to amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp.

Currently, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 labels hemp as a Schedule I drug.

H.R. 3530 excludes low-THC strains of cannabis grown for industrial purposes from the federal definition of marijuana.

The majority of US states have already enacted legislation redefining hemp as an agricultural commodity and allowing for its cultivation. In 2014, members of Congress approved language in the omnibus federal Farm Bill explicitly authorizing states to sponsor hemp research absent federal reclassification of the plant.

All parts of the hemp plant can be cultivated and used to produce everyday household items. It can be grown as a renewable source for raw materials such as clothing, paper, construction materials, and biofuel. Not only is it useful, but growing hemp is much more environmentally friendly than traditional crops.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the United States is the only developed nation in which industrial hemp is not an established crop.

Click HERE to urge your Representative to support this legislation.

 

Congress’ 2017 Budget Plan Reauthorizes Protections For State Medical Cannabis Programs

thumbs_upSpending legislation approved by Congress and signed into law reauthorizes language protecting state-sanctioned medical marijuana and industrial hemp programs.

Specifically, Section 537 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, states that no federal funds may be appropriated to “prevent any [state] from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana..” That language, initially passed by Congress in 2014, is now known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment.

A similarly worded amendment protecting state-sponsored hemp programs was also reauthorized.

Both amendments will remain in effect until September 30, 2017, at which time members of Congress will once again need to either reauthorize the language or let the provisions expire.

Forty-six states now recognize the therapeutic use of either cannabis or cannabidiol derived products. Thirty states recognize hemp as an industrial crop.

Eight States regulate the adult use, production, and sale of marijuana. Non-medical, retail marijuana businesses operating in these states are not protected by these amendments and still remain vulnerable to federal interference or prosecution. In February, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer publicly said that the administration was considering engaging in “greater enforcement” of federal anti-marijuana laws in these jurisdictions.

Kentucky: House and Senate Lawmakers Pass Industrial Hemp Legislation

hempfieldHouse and Senate lawmakers yesterday passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp.” The floor votes took place with only hours to go before the close of the 2013 legislative session. Proponents of the measure acknowledged that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food and clothing.

Senate Bill 50 “establishes conditions and procedures for the licensing of industrial hemp growers by the Department of Agriculture.” It designates the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission to work in concert with the state Department of Agriculture, and also tasks the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experimental Station to engage in research related to hemp production.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 88 to 4. The Senate re-approved the measure by a vote of 35 to 1.

Said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in a prepared statement: “By passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

Federal legislation, the 013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 50 now goes to the desk of Democrat Gov. Steve Beshear, who has said he shares the concerns of the Kentucky State Police who opposed the bill,” but has not stated publicly whether he intends to veto the measure.

If you live in Kentucky, click here to write the Governor and urge that he does not stand in the way of this legislation.

Kentucky: House and Senate Lawmakers Pass Industrial Hemp Legislation

hempfieldHouse and Senate lawmakers passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp”, in the final hours of the 2013 legislative session. Proponents of the measure acknowledged that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service report. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food and clothing.

Senate Bill 50 “establish conditions and procedures for the licensing of industrial hemp growers by the Department of Agriculture.” It designated the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission to work in concert with the state Department of Agriculture, and also tasks the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experimental Station to engage in research related to hemp production.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 88 to 4. The Senate re-approved the measure by a vote of 35 to 1.

Said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in a prepared statement: “By passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

Federal legislation, the 013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 50 now goes to the desk of Gov. Steve Beshear, who has said he shares the concerns of the Kentucky State Police who opposed the bill.”

If you live in Kentucky, click here to write the Governor and urge that he does not stand in the way of this legislation.

Kentucky: House and Senate Lawmakers Pass Industrial Hemp Legislation

hempfieldHouse and Senate lawmakers passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp”, in the final hours of the 2013 legislative session. Proponents of the measure acknowledged that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service report. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food and clothing.

Senate Bill 50 “establish conditions and procedures for the licensing of industrial hemp growers by the Department of Agriculture.” It designated the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission to work in concert with the state Department of Agriculture, and also tasks the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experimental Station to engage in research related to hemp production.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 88 to 4. The Senate re-approved the measure by a vote of 35 to 1.

Said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in a prepared statement: “By passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

Federal legislation, the 013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 50 now goes to the desk of Gov. Steve Beshear, who has said he shares the concerns of the Kentucky State Police who opposed the bill.”

If you live in Kentucky, click here to write the Governor and urge that he does not stand in the way of this legislation.

Industrial Hemp Farming Legislation Reintroduced In Congress

Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) and 28 co-sponsors, including House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-MN), have reintroduced legislation in Congress that requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only trace (less than one percent) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis.

House Bill 525, 013, amends the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. The measure grants state legislatures the authority to license and regulate the commercial production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity.

Eight states – Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia – have enacted statutory changes defining industrial hemp as distinct agricultural product and allowing for its regulated commercial production. Passage of HR 525 would remove existing federal barriers and allow these states and others the authority to do so without running afoul of federal anti-drug laws.

“Industrial hemp is a sustainable crop and could be a great economic opportunity for Kentucky farmers,” Rep. Massie stated in a press release. “Industrial hemp will give small farmers another opportunity to succeed.”

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) are supporting the introduction of a companion bill in the US Senate.

According to a Congressional Research Service report, “The United States is the only developed nation in which industrial hemp is not an established crop.”

Previous versions of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act have stalled in Congress. The issue has never before been debated in the Senate.

Additional information regarding HR 525 is available from NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

This Week in Weed: July 29th – August 4th

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